Allez Les Bleus! Where to Celebrate France’s Worldcup Win

france world cupWhen I was in France the last and only time it won the World Cup, the French were so delirious in watching their team win they asked me questions like:  “Can Americans run as fast as the French?”  This time the questions take a Trumpian tone, like:  is not France’s First Lady more beautiful than America’s?  In either case, the celebrations are on the way as France won this one with the help of a Croatian own goal and a penalty kick from an inadvertent hand ball in the first half – without making a shot on goal — not to mention a bluster by France’s goalkeeper for the ages.  So where to go?  Here are some top spots, many within reach of the Champs de Mars. Read More »

Jardin des Tuileries — Summer Carnival

If you have wandered near the Louvre or Jardin des Tuileries lately, you will notice an exciting addition on the rue du Rivoli wing, and a rather large one at that! La Fête Foraine is the temporary summer carnival implanted by le mairie of Paris for those looking for an entertaining night out with the kidsWith over 60 attractions, this fête includes a Ferris wheel, climbing wall, trampolines, merry-go-rounds, games, and sweets like cotton candy (“barbe a papa”, which means old man’s beard), crêpes, gaufres (waffles), beignets, churros (one of the only times you will find these on the streets of Paris!), guimauves (marshmallows), caramel apples (pomme d’amour, which means apple of love) and more.  It lasts through August 26. Read More »

Summer in Paris

 

Photograph taken by Hélène Loiré: http://aparisouailleurs.canalblog.com/

Photograph taken by Hélène Loiré: http://aparisouailleurs.canalblog.com/

 

Ice cream cones drip in the sunlight.  Children laugh with delight as they ride the carrousel in the Jardin des Tuileries.  Women in breezy sundresses sit lazily at a café mid-afternoon.  Friends share wine, cheese, and a baguette for a pique-nique in the park. Stars only begin to sparkle in the sky after 10:00 pm, as shimmers of sunlight give the sky a light hue late into the evening.  And traffic hums on the Champs-Élysées well past 1:30 in the morning.

This is summer in Paris.  Read More »

Paris Plage — Beach Vacation on the Seine

paris plage 2013Parisians wear bathing suits, children play in sandboxes, and adults read steamy novels while relaxing on lawn chairs on a sandy beach.  No, this is not in Normandy, but on the Seine just across from the Île-de-la-Cité.  Paris Plage brings the beach to Paris on the Seine River, making a great venue to relax and let the children play on a “beach” just a skip away from the Louvre and Notre Dame.  From July 7-September 2, the beaches of the Seine in Paris are the place to be. Read More »

Paris Summer Sale (Soldes)

soldesParis only has two sanctioned sales during the year — in January just after the Christmas break and in July just before the August holiday.  The summer sale is in full swing through August 7, with many stores now in their second and third markdown.  Unlike sales in the U.S., stores are open mostly during normal hours, except have extended days open on a few Sundays.  While it seems impossible, French law only allows sales during this time period, otherwise stores must get permission from the police to hold discounted sales outside this time period.  The theory behind this is that this protects the small mom and pop shops from heavy discounting by the major giants, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, but, in reality, this is a way to preserve price protection and state sanctioned price parity among retailers. Read More »

Bastille Day (July 14th)

 

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Photograph by Hélène Loiré: http://aparisouailleurs.canalblog.com/

Celebrations for Le Quartorze de Juillet (14th of July), also commonly known as Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale, mark one of the major party events in Paris for the year.  It commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison and the French revolt against Louis XVI and the French monarchy.  These events ultimately led to years of “terror” with Marie-Antoinette, King Louis XVI, and Read More »